Anny Sabine Umukunzi

Ever since the Coronavirus pandemic hit Rwanda in March 2020, many things have changed as a result of the measures put in place to prevent this pandemic. Some of the changes that have taken place due to these strategies include visiting our friends, going to church, having parties, and many other things that used to bring us together.

Everyone misses a lot of things in their pre-Coronavirus life. What do you miss? And what are you doing to get back to the pre-Coronavirus period that we all miss?

We spoke to Nema Philbert of The National Child Development Agency (NCDA) in charge of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH Specialist). He told us that in order to get back to the pre-Coronavirus life we all miss, we have a role to play, to wash our hands with clean water and soap and do so as often as possible because it protects us from diseases caused by poor hygiene including Coronavirus. “We wash our hands to prevent all diseases caused by poor hygiene including intestinal worms, typhoid and so on, but especially the reason why we have to do this more often in these times is that the coronavirus is spread through body excretions. So you have to wash your hands every time you leave the bathroom, before you have anything to eat, after coughing or sneezing, and before preparing food. In general, before and after you do anything, wash your hands with clean water and soap. It is important that we cultivate this culture and continue to do so after defeating the Coronavirus,” he said.


Washing your hands with clean water and soap is the smallest thing you can do and make your contribution to the goal of returning to our normal life we all miss. How can we wash our hands properly? Nema also told us how to wash our hands well.

Here's how to wash your hands:

  • First prepare clean water and soap.
  • Start by getting your hands wet and then apply enough soap all over your hands so that you have enough lather.
  • Wash between your two hands (i.e. one hand will rub against the other while they face each other).
  • Now start washing the top of your hands (if you start with the left, use the right hand to rub on top of it and then change hands and do the same).
  • Interlace your fingers and wash in between them.
  • Interlace your thumbs to wash them well.
  • Clean your fingernails and remove any dirt.
  • your hands with the clean water until you feel the soap is off.
  • Wait for your hands to dry properly (when there is no hand dryer you can stand in the sun with your hands facing down. This is also a way to dry your hands).

Note: You do all this with clean water and soap between 40 and 60 seconds. It is best not to wipe or dry your hands with any cloth you can find unless it’s a clean cloth that you use to dry your hands with and you must wash it as often as possible.

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